Monday, July 11, 2011

to catch a squirrel.. and a giveaway!

Desperately trying to get my house back in order before the heat gets too horrible, so I can't stay long today. In fact, I'm not even going to edit this! SEE how brave I am!

These past few weekends have been amaxing in almost every way, and I truly am blessed, but until I can find the time to upload a few pics of the wedding.. oh man, I need to finish that project...

I also need to sit and sew a few bags for those who expressed interest at the HappYDaY Creations booth I was priveldged to share my art at..thanks to the neighbors at the craft fair who showed me the ropes.... they do amaxing bead work.. love it all.

any one else see that squirrel?   sometimes, it's best to read out loud.. ok, so maybe always.. but not to loudly, people will look at you weird.

Speaking of weird.. remember this book? I have been praying and praying about who else to give it too..and today.. Kimberly posted in that great place in the air called Facebook. That if I repost a blog post of Kimberly's they would offer a free book to one of my followers. I'm totally new to this give away stuff.. but this post WRECKED me. totally.... hard stuff for sure....  so here it is... in it's entirely beautifully written God given way.  Please know that there are VERY VERY graphic pictures included in this post.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today, We Face Our Worst Times with an Insane Hope. *Warning* Graphic Images!

        Eight years ago, a friend of mine and Milton’s, who is a director for Voice of the Martyrs, said to me, “Kimberly, what you’re doing to protect children from human trafficking is wonderful, but if you really want to help the most vulnerable women and children, you’ll go to Sudan.”

        I was so afraid, it took me nearly 9 months of pleading with God to “let this cup pass” before I finally submitted to His call for me to go. My life, my husband’s life, the life of Make Way Partners –along with many of you who sacrificially give to support this work—has never been the same.

        That first trip into Darfur, I met a little girl, Teresa, whose life—and senseless death—taught many of us that the choices we make in our daily lives really do make a difference, can save lives, and do have the power to usher in our Father’s Kingdom, one child’s life at a time.

        It was Teresa’s story that motivated me to spend months in the desert of Darfur working with our first indigenous leader Lual Atak to protect hundreds of orphans from the slave raiders.

        But when hyenas killed nearly 280 of our orphans in just 10 months, we caught a tiny glimpse of God’s broken heart and knew we had to do more.  So we launched the most insane campaign of Hope ever imagined—we built the first orphanage in Darfur, Sudan—nearly 2,000 miles of pave-less bush away from our nearest supply chain in Nairobi, Kenya.

        These years have been a transformational haven for nearly 600 orphans who—through your love and support—have been consistently loved, fed, sheltered, and educated in the name of Christ.

        Through the years, God has brought us other faithful indigenous partners, like Romano Nero. Under Romano’s direction, last year we opened a new orphanage in Southern Sudan, near the border of Uganda.

Here nearly 60 more orphans receive the same love and protection as we offer in Darfur. When I visited in April, it was astounding even to me to see the results of Romano’s labor. Orphans who he’d literally pulled from their mother’s decaying bodies—and who were so malnourished they couldn’t even hold down solid food—were singing, playing, and learning their alphabet!

After eight years of love, toil, danger, and sacrifice, the enemy roars louder today than ever before. As the GOS, or invading Islamic regime of Northern Sudan, rears its ugly head against the July 9th day of official Southern Sudan independence, they are attacking on every front.

The GOS has sworn that if Southern Sudan pursues independence, their retribution will be harsher than any of their past wars. The reality of their threat is already coming home.

The village where this brutal slaughter took place has no military significance whatsoever. The motivation is none other than terror and genocide, enacted through bombing, rape, and slavery.

The Sudan Tribune reports, "While there are UN troops in the Nuba Mountains they have largely served no purpose. If truth be told, they are actually exacerbating the situation. First, they do little more than largely observe the violence and certainly nothing to attempt to halt it. Second, two sources inside the Nuba Mountains, both of whom must remain unnamed, reported that Egyptian soldiers with the UN were seen raping local women in Kadugli as the latter sought sanctuary from the surrounding violence.

I’ve spent the entire morning in secluded prayer crying out to God for His direction in our response to such evil. “What would you have Your Hands and Feet to do oh Lord?”

First of all, I know that He would not have His Body ignorant. So, as painful as it is, please help us to spread the news of this holocaust that is happening on our watch.

A few years ago, we took our children to visit the Nazi concentration camp of Dachau. They couldn’t believe the stories they read about the Germans claiming to not be aware of the holocaust happening under their noses.
    Since then, the world has spent the last six generations pointing our fingers at the Germans. Yet, here we sit not wanting to know what is happening today—in our generation—for the same reason, it is painful to know—and it calls for our response.

          I am asking you to speak out, share this story, and inundate your congressman with your demands for US pressure on both the GOS and China, who funds much of this genocide in exchange for oil.
Christ calls us to participate in His suffering, and nothing grieves Him more than oppression upon widows and orphans. This is our opportunity to share in the work of the cross as it hammers against the vilest assault known to mankind, gross profit made at the expense of the defenseless.

Matt McGowen, our Field Coordinator, and I are preparing to return to Sudan in late August with a small American team. You can take part in this journey by helping us raise $150,000 in relief supplies—including food, medicine, tarps, tents, and diesel for the safe transport of people and supplies.

While this effort represents only a small portion of what is needed over the long haul, it will mean the literal difference between life and death today for widows and orphans hiding out in the bush.

          A gift as small as $50 will provide a tarp (for shelter) and a month’s supply of food for one widow and her children.

          Through these last 8 years, we’ve seen over and over again the difference our presence makes, like with Immanuel. When local police first found this sickly boy, he told them his name was Tong-Tong, which is a local word for LRA, the militia who’d murdered his mother. Locals began calling him Tong-Tong after the LRA left him orphaned.

The police said he was so thin, they didn’t know how he stood upon his stick-like legs. The police took him in, but he couldn’t hold down their food, and they were not able to properly care for him.

When Romano came through, they introduced him to Tong-Tong. Romano brought him into the family of Hope for Sudan, and gave him a new name—Immanuel.

When I visited Hope for Sudan in April, I could barely believe this healthy, happy, affectionate child was the same malnourished boy I’d met through pictures just a few months earlier. The presence of God shot through the gaps of his toothy smile like rays of sunlight breaking through crystal.  

 Recently, Romano took Immanuel to visit his home village. An older sister saw him and called out, “Tong-Tong!”

Immanuel stopped her, “That’s not my name anymore. I am Immanuel.”

Everyone of you who has shared in this wild journey of God to fight for the Fatherless has been drug through the darkness with each of these children, and you’ve shared in indescribable joy as God redeems their brokenness, as He did with Immanuel.

          As we once again step out in the same insane hope that fueled us nearly 8 years ago, we languish, we fear, we doubt in our distress, and we cry out in our suffering—“How long, Oh Lord?”, but we do not give up. He has delivered us, and He will deliver us.

Love, your broken sister along the journey,

Where do I even start after all that? Irritates me that Satan thinks he's winning over there. Ok, so maybe a little more than irritated.   

So deets in getting a brand spanking new copy of the only book in my entire life that I have read three times through... be a follower of this blog first and leave a comment.  THEN please like Kimberly L Smith (Author) on facebook if your in that world.. and then pray. pray. pray. God ultimately wins, but that doesn't mean we just get to sit around and wait.. DO something. The winner will be a random choice, of course. 

Love you all.. and please if you don't win.. get the book. Passport Through Darkness here. You will be blessed, promise. 


karriek said...

my heart aches, i will read it.

Kimberly L Smith (Author and Co-founder and Co-President of Make Way Partners) said...

Thank Kelly. I am honored to read your blog about my book, Passport through Darkness--and praise God that anything i wrote has helped you along your own path through the wild woods of God!

love, Your sister along the journey, k

Cheryl said...

hi Kelly,

I would love to read the book. I have been a part of a refuge concerns book club for the past 2 years and have read a number of books about the many atrocities going on in Africa and other places in this world. I work in a school where a number of our families have experienced trauma and it breaks my heart! I must pray more fervently!

Miss your smile!